Crazy excuses employees give for missing work

Are your workers coming up with imaginative reasons for not being able to come into work?

The answer is probably yes.

According to a recent survey conducted by CV Library, the most common reason given by workers for not attending work was because they were tired (43.4%). This is followed by not being bothered (15.1%) and having other plans (13%). There was also a small amount of people who admitted they had pulled a sickle due to being hungover (9.2.%).

However, some workers were far more creative when coming up with an excuse. Of the 1,300 workers who responded to the survey, here are some of the craziest reasons given:

  • “My hamsters are sick and needs to go to the vet”.
  • “There are cows in my garden so I can’t get to work”.
  • “I lost a darts tournament last night and I am too traumatised to come in”.
  • “I have blisters from wearing new shoes on a Saturday night”.
  • “I left my uniform on the bus”.
  • “My boyfriend changed his relationship status on Facebook to single”.
  • “I’m having a BBQ at the weekend and need time to prepare”.

Employers should take a stand against malingerers – those employees who lie or exaggerate their illness or injury to avoid attending work.

The impact of absences on your business can be significant. Short term sickness accounts for nearly 80% of all absences and costs the UK economy billions of pounds a year. Not only that, but it can mean a drop in business productivity levels, a negative impact on service delivery, client dissatisfaction, low team morale and high employee stress levels. It can also generate additional costs – you may be required to hire temporary workers to provide cover.

Read our top tips or download our Employer’s Definitive Guide to Managing Sickness Absence.

Director of Legal Services

James Tamm

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